1 Pound Large Lima Beans
Water to cover plus an inch
1 Tablespoon Bacon Fat
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
1/2 Cup Chopped Celery
1/4 Cup Chopped Carrot
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Teaspoon Thyme
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
2 Cups Leftover baked, smoked ham, roughly chopped
Meaty ham bone, 2 or 3 ham hocks or smoked turkey wings
1 (32-ounce) Carton Chicken Stock
4-6 Cups Water
2 Bay Leaves
1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) Butter
2 Tablespoons Parsley
Couple pinches Salt, or to taste
Rinse and sort beans, place into stockpot with just enough water to cover them, plus about an inch. Bring to a boil, cover and turn off the burner. Let soak covered for one hour, drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in the bottom of soup pot, heat the bacon fat over medium; add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and sauté just until tender. Add the thyme and pepper and stir; add the ham, ham bone, ham hocks or smoked turkey wings, chicken stock, 4 cups of the water and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and let simmer for about 1 hour.
Add the drained beans to the pot. Stir in the butter, parsley. Continue cooking on a low simmer an additional hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until beans are tender and sauce thickens. Add additional chicken stock or water only if needed. When beans are tender, taste and adjust seasonings as desired; cover and hold on very low.